UPDATE: (Dec. 14, 8:28 p.m. EST) — And just like that, Twitter has once again suspended the account tracking the location of Elon Musk’s private jet.
Around the same time, Musk tweeted out about how dangerous location-sharing is and claimed that a “crazy stalker” climbed on the hood of a car last night because the person thought Musk was inside the vehicle.
He then said: “Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family” ― an apparent reference to Jack Sweeney, creator of the @ElonJet account tracking his jet.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: (Dec. 14, 7:39 p.m. EST) — Twitter appears to have reinstated an account tracking the location of Elon Musk’s private jet just hours after banning it.
Around the time that the account reappeared, Twitter posted that it had updated the company’s private information policy “to prohibit sharing someone else’s live location in most cases.” However, accounts will be allowed to share “someone else’s historical (not same-day) location information,” meaning the account @ElonJet may publicize the location of the Twitter owner’s jet, just not in real time.
“When someone shares an individual’s live location on Twitter, there is an increased risk of physical harm,” Musk’s company stated. “Moving forward, we’ll remove Tweets that share this information, and accounts dedicated to sharing someone else’s live location will be suspended.”
The account, which is run by someone named Jack Sweeney, tweeted at Musk asking him to clarify how delayed the location tracking would have to be in order to abide by the new policy, but Musk has yet to respond.
Twitter has suspended an account dedicated to tracking the whereabouts of Elon Musk’s private jet, directly contradicting Musk’s own earlier pledge not to ban the account as evidence of his “commitment to free speech.”
In addition to @ElonJet, the Twitter account belonging to its creator, Jack Sweeney, has also been suspended.
Sweeney told BuzzFeed News his suspensions came without warning but may have been retribution for a screenshot he shared earlier this month allegedly proving that Twitter was quietly restricting the reach of his tweets.
Whatever the reason for the sudden ban, Sweeney said it exemplifies the danger of handing control of all of Twitter ― or any communication platform, for that matter ― to a single, impulsive person.
“It just shows that they can play the rules however they want to, really, for whoever they want,” he said.
The ban comes with a heaping scoop of irony. Shortly after Musk purchased Twitter in late October, he’d boasted about leaving @ElonJet unhindered as proof of his evenhandedness.
Following the bans Wednesday, the Twitter community fact-checked that pledge in amusing fashion. A Community Note under Musk’s tweet now reads, “The implied account in this tweet is elonjet, which is currently banned.”
Musk stated later Wednesday that the account was banned for “doxxing.”
“Real-time posting of someone else’s location violates doxxing policy,” he tweeted, “but delayed posting of locations are ok.”
The claim raises suspicions, however, given that @ElonJet has been posting the exact same content since June 2020 yet only now seems to have run afoul of the rules.
As a reminder, Musk considers himself a “free speech absolutist” who previously said he opposes censorship of any speech “that goes far beyond the law.”
The @ElonJet Twitter account only relayed publicly available data, which is still visible on Facebook and Instagram.
Shortly after banning the account, Musk’s jet flew from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas.